, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 191-204

High-frequency reactivation of X-linked genes in chinese hamster × human hybrid cells

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Three genes on the human inactive X chromosome retained in the Chinese hamster x human hybrid cell line X8/6T2 have been reactivated using the demethylating agent, 5-azacytidine (5-aza-CR). Pulse-labeling and histochemical methods permitted detection and measurement of reactivation rates of the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (Hpt) and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6pd) genes within 48 h of treatment. About 50% of the cells became active for these genes, which represents a reactivation rate some 30-fold greater than previously reported in similar systems. The phosphoglycerate kinase (Pgk) gene was not reactivated as frequently as the Hptor G6pdgenes. Segregation analysis of progeny of treated cells showed that enzyme-positive and enzyme-negative cells were produced in proportions supporting the notion that 5-aza-CR causes demethylation by replicative loss and that demethylation leads to reactivation.